NBA rule change could lead to the downfall of college basketball

Writer: Andrew Martin

At the beginning of August the NCAA abruptly announced significant rule changes in the wake of last season’s FBI probe that impacted not only college basketball, but basketball as a whole. Most of the rule changes made were dependent upon the NBA abolishing their age rule, yet the NCAA did not properly communicate these changes with the NBA.

The NCAA forced the hand of one of the most well run sports leagues in the world, while also failing to address the amateurism problem facing college athletics. Which still left many question marks around the state of the NCAA.

After being put in a difficult spot in August, the NBA responded with major rule changes that could realistically begin the end of college basketball. Elite prospects that are at least 18 years old and coming out of high school will now be eligible for “select contracts.” As an alternative to the one and done college path, the G-League will be offering select $125K contracts and access to NBA infrastructure and development tools.

Highly sought after recruits may begin to declare for the G-league draft instead of committing and signing to play for a university. While it’s hard to see it happen from the standpoint of a CBB fan, it’s also completely understandable. Over the last few years the NBA has figured out how to make themselves prominent year round, by making this power move they became an entertainment juggernaut.

With the rising discussion of paying college athletes, and the NCAA choosing to dismiss the conversation, the NBA took advantage of the opportunity to bring top tier talent into their market at a younger age.

Allowing players to sign shoe contracts in the G-league out of high school also has multiple benefits for the players. Not only is that more money coming in for them, but they get the chance to begin building their brand at the age of 18 instead of their brand making money for the NCAA.

College basketball brought us everything from Michael Jordan rocking UNC baby blue and the Michigan fab five bringing baggy shorts into the sport, to a sixteen seed finally beating a one seed in last year's March Madness. However, the NBA’s new rule changes lead us to believe that the demise of college basketball is upon us.